Monday, November 22, 2010

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,419: Montross

MONTROSS and Jaster Mereel
The Legacy Collection Entertainment Earth Exclusive Comic Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 87504 No. 94958
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #18
Includes: Helmet, blaster pistols, rifle, jetpack, cape
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: November 2010
Appearances: Jango Fett: Open Seasons comic books, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter video game

Bio: Mandalorian leader Jaster Mereel and his second-in-command Montross play pivotal roles in the dark past of Jango Fett. Mereel and Montross change the life of the future bounty hunter during the Mandalorian Civil War in the decades before the Clone Wars. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: Hasbro sure loves to do Mandalorians lately. Heck, Entertainment Earth alone has had no fewer than nine of them, but Montross is unique in that while he's clearly supposed to be a retooled Boba Fett, it's like someone at Hasbro said "hey, let's put more money in this one." Or maybe it was supposed to be an all-new figure and someone cheaped out, because the only reused parts here are a Boba Fett torso, backpack, and helmet from the Evolutions figure. Oh, and the legs from Mandalore. I missed that. Everything else, so far as I can see, is completely new.

Due to the beefy nature of the character, a slightly larger head and body would have helped him appear more menacing, but his armor does seem to help a bunch. The arms and legs are totally new, as is the head-- which looks a little more like a younger take on Ed Harris than a grizzled warrior, but hey, whatevs. It's not like the art in Open Seasons was necessarily realistic enough not to give Hasbro some ability to interpret the character, although I tend to remember him as he appeared in some of those video game promo shots complete with white hair. Why make him younger? No idea. But I usually leave the helmets on these dudes anyway and thankfully, it fits well. There's not a lot to the helmet rather than saying it's effectively a Boba helmet in Jango colors. Are you thrilled? Maybe you should be, maybe not.

The armor has been decorated to match the comic art, plus the all-new arms have sculpted symbols on them to match those red rectangles which probably hold some significance but what do I care? It looks cool. The thing that impressed me about the figure is a slight bit of improvement in how he (versus other Fetts) interact with his gear. The hands and weapons seem made for one another, and maybe it's just dumb luck but the jetpack stays in slightly better than the always-falls-out Evolutions Boba so far. You can pick up the figure and shake him around, it'll stay on nicely. Before we move on to the gear, let me also point out that the legs are new and while nothing to write home about, they do mesh with the design well.

His weapons are big. Really big. And what's particularly unusual about them is that Hasbro actually added painted details on each one, and I would say few figures over the entire line came with guns that had much decoration on them. Typically (but not always), all you get is one color unless it's a spear, a lightsaber, or a staff. Each pistol has three colors of paint, which is pretty impressive considering that one has been considered "a lot" of paint decorations. The two small pistols fit into the holsters, the big rifle actually fits into his hands well and can be aimed easily with minimal fidgeting. By comparison, getting Evo Boba to hold his gun this way is nearly impossible for me, but I'm "special" and I generally don't try very hard. This one just works, so clearly Hasbro got some great sculptors working for them now-- or two or three years ago, whenever this guy was originally made.

While not as crazy-impressive as the 2010 Pre Vizsla, this is a damn fine Mandalorian figure and probably one of the better ones in recent memory. But Tobbi and Fenn were cool too. Heck, they're all great. But I think you'll like this one a lot.

Collector's Notes: The figure was "canceled" as a mainline item (check the SKU, it was meant to be part of the basic comic pack assortment at some point in history) but fate decided mainstream retail didn't want the comic pack line. We define "fate" as "keeping the same comic pack SKU from 2007-2009 when Battle Packs get refreshed every 18 months." So it's an online exclusive, which probably means it will ultimately be slightly easier to find than the final non-exclusive wave of comic packs from 2010. With the recent tales in the TV The Clone Wars the look and history of the Mandalorians have been, arguably, revised-- so mix your continuity any way you like. Also, I work for the company who sells this as an exclusive, so take that as you will. (We did not, however, have anything to do with its development-- we just sell the thing.)

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,419: November 22, 2010



Adam, the legs and shins are from the Evolutions Mandalore. The feet are new. I use those parts in customs all the time, I can tell from the shot. compare them.!

Thanks for the post!

Bravo said...

The arms look like they were made for a larger torso, so I think the "cheaped out" theory may be more likely.

That contributes to the dude looking like a cosplayer to me.